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City officials try to minimize tax increase

Hillsboro likely will need to levy about $59,000 more for 2010 than 2009, City Administrator Larry Paine said Tuesday at City Council meeting.

Paine continues to look for ways to reduce that gap. No salary increases are planned, he said.

The budget would require raising the property tax rate to between 43 and 44 mills. The city published a notice for budget hearing with a budget not to exceed 55 mills. The council can reduce that rate without requiring a new public notice but must publish a public notice to go above that rate.

Paine used about $400,000 of one-time revenue to get the budget that close.

“Next year’s budget will be worse,” he said.

Council will meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday for a budget work session.

New housing possible

Hillsboro Development Corp. Executive Director Clint Seibel discussed a possible program to help first-time home buyers purchase affordable houses.

Mennonite Housing is considering Hillsboro as a possible site for at least five new homes. The city could help with a program by donating lots for it. Hillsboro would benefit by not having to maintain the lots and returning them to the tax base, Paine said. The city has enough land on North Lincoln Street for three homes and nine lots in Willow Glen.

Getting the Willow Glen lots on the tax roll again would represent approximately a two mill shift, Paine said.

Councilman Kevin Suderman said he would hesitate to donate the lots when others have purchased lots.

Mennonite Housing Executive Director Andy Bias will meet with the council in a public meeting 6 to 8 p.m. Aug. 5.

APAC won a bid to chip seal city streets for $68,825. Streets involved include Floral, Elm, Juniper, Willow, B, and D streets and the circle drive around Memorial Park.

Last modified July 23, 2009

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